With the fairways often sloping and twisting Le Golf National forces players to be strategic when they step onto the tee. You may see more irons, or fairway woods being chosen by players on the tee box to be able to position themselves carefully on the fairways. Hitting the fairways will be paramount as the flags are protected by carefully positioned bunkers and a lot of water!
The iconic final stretch is one to look out as players make their way onto the back 9, the Par 4, 408 yards 15th ‘Le Juge’ requires players to find the green which is almost surrounded by water. The 18th Par 4, 471 yards ‘La Foule’ will test the nerves of the players, as water runs down the entirety left hand side with 4 bunkers protecting the right. The island green looks small from the fairway but once hit players must have their short game on point.
"It's probably one of my favourite courses all year, not only on the European Tour but worldwide.”
- Jon Rahm
Rahm finished in a tie for 10th when he made his debut last year, carding a bogey-free 69 in the final round at Le Golf National. This year, Rahm is seeking a hat-trick of Rolex Series titles after securing the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation & the DP World Tour Championship last season and has his eyes set on a victory this weekend.
“It's one of the courses that I enjoy the most. It's not a case of going to the tee and hitting driver as hard as you can. It actually makes you think.”
- Jon Rahm
Adrian Rietveld [European Tour Manager] spoke to Rahm before they flew out to the French Open as Rahm wanted to find more precision in his iron set up. As our Tour Team arrived at Le Golf National early Monday morning, Rahm and his Caddie were already there and eager to get out on the range.
A new set of P750’s were built for Rahm in his exact specifications taken from his win at the Open de Espana and were taken out onto the range to test. A line was drawn on his golf ball and as Rahm struck the ball he was able to see where the line was in relation to the grooves to check the lie angle on his Irons. In relation to the line his irons were coming out slightly flat and his divots were slightly toe deep. Not wanting to change anything, Adrian and our Tour Team took the PW 7 & 5 Iron and increased the lie angle 1° upright, Rahm tested these and with great feedback it gave Rahm confidence to increase his entire set, from Hi Toe throughout his bag to his P790 2-Iron, 1° upright.
Rigorous testing took place for each club in Rahm's bag not only on the range but also out on the course. Talking to Adrian about the testing that took place he said,
"There was a loop of holes that he [Rahm] could play, 15, 16, 17 and 18 on the golf course, so we went onto the golf course and a lot of iron shots were hit. He said that his ability to now draw the ball without really having to forcefully trying to turn the ball from right to left was a good indication that the changes we had made had helped him which was great.”
- Adrian Rietveld
Jon Rahm's WITB:
- M4 Driver | 9.5° | Aldila Tour Green 70 TX
- M3 Fairway | 17° | Aldila Tour Green 70 TX
- P790 2-Iron | Project X (6.5)
- Tour Preferred RSI UDI 4 Iron | Project X (6.5)
- P750 Irons (5-PW) | Project X (6.5)
- MG Wedges | 52°, 56° | Project X (6.5)
- HI-TOE Wedge | 60° | Project X (6.5)
- Spider Tour Red Putter
- TP5x Golf Ball | #10
After the highs of his first Major at the US Open, Dean Burmester stopped off at the tour truck to get his 3-wood dialled in. Burmester is one of the longest hitters on the European Tour and is one of the strongest players off the tee, the tour average with driver ballspeed is 163mph, whilst Dean is regularly hitting 3 woods at 177mph!
"Coming from Johannesburg and high altitude where we fitted his [Burmester] 3 wood, the spin was a little bit high but, in those conditions, and when he wasn't playing in any wind which he has been. he likes it. However, going into the next few weeks, he needs to have a 3 wood that he can hit off the tee with a little less spin. So what we’ve done is moved him from M4 15° back into an M4 Tour head with a Tensei Orange which he plays in his driver but at the same loft and lie as his previous setting. Next week we will be doing 2-iron work as he’s the type of player that will use this club everywhere as he has the power, it takes the driver out of his hands quite easily if it does get windy - as he has the power to hit a 2 iron much further distances than a lot of other players."
- Adrian Rietveld